The goaltending roster continues to shift for the Minnesota Wild.
With former Chicago Blackhawks goalie — reigning Vezina winner — Marc-André Fleury on the way in, the Wild had a crowded crease that needed to be dealt with. Instead of dealing 34-year old struggling netminder Cam Talbot, it sounds like it’s the former Finnish goalie of the future on the way out.
Sources say #mnwild are trading Kaapo Kahkonen in a different trade— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) March 21, 2022
We are still waiting on details and will update once more information becomes available.
Update: Kaapo Kähkönen and a fifth-round pick are headed to the San Jose Sharks for defenseman Jacob Middleton.
At 26-years old, Middleton has averaged around 19 minutes a night while contributing three goals and six assists in 45 GP for a mediocre and aging Sharks squad. Typically paired with Erik Karlsson, Middleton will be familiar with the aggressive, offensive pressure the Wild defensemen play. While his advance metrics aren’t eye-popping, at the very least, the Wild’s Moustache/60 just went through the roof.
Kähkönen has a .910 Sv% and a 2.87 GAA in 23 starts this season, but like his partner, Talbot, he has struggled in the past couple of months. The inconsistent goaltending has contributed to the Wild going 9-10-1 since February 1 and slipping into third in the Central Division.
Goaltending was priority number one for GM Bill Guerin, and he’s addressed it. There have already been some massive changes for the men behind the mask, and shipping out the 2019-20 AHL Goaltender of the Year is a part of that process.
It is now official.